Readers’ Charter: Our 12-point promise

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To coincide with Local Newspaper Week, this title and its sister newspapers across the UK today launch a Readers’ Charter.

The publication of a 12-point commitment to our readers follows an industry-wide #TrustedNewsDay on Friday which celebrated the values at the heart of your local newspaper and its website.

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In an age of fake news, spread indiscriminately on social media, local newspapers are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism.

The establishment of a Readers’ Charter – which covers everything from accuracy to holding decision-makers to account – sets the seal on our determination to be your most trusted source of news, advertising, and information. Unveiling the Readers’ Charter which all Johnston Press titles will embrace, editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford said: ‘Local newspapers and their websites are the most trusted providers of information and news in Britain today.

‘They are subject to some of the toughest regulation in the world and they set for themselves some of the highest standards of professional training.

‘As we celebrate the annual Local Newspaper Week, which shows how newspapers make a real difference to the communities they serve, it is wholly appropriate that we renew our commitment to our readers and advertisers to always put them first.’

The Charter states:

This newspaper is built on a tradition of accuracy and fairness, giving you the information you need to understand our world, holding power to account and exposing injustice. Our trusted brand means we are the only place where you can read and participate in honest debates. We are committed to giving a voice to those who struggle to be heard as well as those whose profession is crafting an argument.

We will engage with you, ask your opinions and give you the platforms on which your views can be expressed.

We are committed to reporting, informing,debating, entertaining and reflecting the values of our communities.

We therefore promise …

1. To report accurately and fairly stories in the public interest

2. To treat our readers with respect and to report news they can trust​

3. To campaign on behalf of the communities we serve and be their voice​

4. To hold decision-makers to account

​5. To listen to our readers and answer their queries and complaints within a clearly published timeframe

6. To offer investigative and opinion-rich local journalism, contributing to the quality of debate in our communities

7. To support no political party but to encourage all those who seek the best for our community

8. To accept that sometimes we make genuine mistakes and to seek to correct them at the first opportunity

9. To be the eyes and ears of readers by covering the activities of public bodies

​​10. To ensure our coverage does not discriminate against anyone especially on grounds of religious belief, ethnicity or sexual orientation

11. To present content in a manner that is suitable for entire families

12. To uphold the Editors’ Code of Practice